McREL Reviews

Updated July 17, 2014
Updated July 17, 2014
17 Reviews

2.7
17 Reviews
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Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great People and Great Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO

    I have been working at McREL full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The staff is McREL is comprised of some of the smartest and hardest working people I have ever worked with. The quality of the work is consistently high.

    Cons

    This is a soft money organization and as such, we have to pursue grants and RFPs. For some this is hard.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2.  

    Don't believe all the negative reviews!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO

    I have been working at McREL full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Commitment to improving education-determination to make itself a competitive employer in terms of benefits,salaries. Morale boosting events are created on a quarterly basis at least

    Cons

    Work life balance-commitment by leadership to make this a priority-consider a useful telecommuting policy

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Once a respected player, now not even on the playing field

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at McREL full-time

    Pros

    There are some very talented people that remain at McREL. However, many of the best have left because of senior management and many more are looking for a way out.

    Cons

    I came to McREL excited to reach what was once considered the pinnacle for teachers and consultants. As a young teacher I aspired to be as intelligent and articulate as the McREL consultants that I emulated. However, things have changed over the years and by the time I arrived, the rapid decline had already begun. I wish that the committee members that interviewed me had been honest about the corporate climate. By the time I actually took the offered position, half of those that interviewed me had already jumped ship, claiming publicly that they had better opportunities when in reality they could not wait to leave an organization that has strayed so far from the core values it espouses. The organization's operating principles are constantly discussed and posted in nearly every office and conference room. However, senior management violates those core principles on a daily basis. People live in fear of when the next round of cuts will occur and fight between themselves for projects and billable hours. I believe that I made a positive contribution to both the organizational goals and the financial bottom line of this faltering organization. However, what I received in return from management was a lack of respect and appreciation. As much as I loved the work in the field, I could no longer live with the hypocrisy that permeates the organization from the top-down. I resigned not for a better position, but to save my integrity.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Even though the CEO is retiring soon, the new appointee is perceived to be a carbon copy. Pay attention to what former employees are saying and stop asking current employees to post bogus reviews to boost your scores and credibility ratings (yes, they do it but they tell).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    A research company that has ignored every bit of data and information about employee unhappiness and turnover.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Honolulu, HI
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Honolulu, HI

    I have been working at McREL full-time

    Pros

    The work is for a great purpose. People believe in the purpose and are committed to that purpose.

    Cons

    By all indications, there has been near continuous turnover in this office and all signs point to the same underlying causes. All concerns have consistently been dismissed with all of the complaints brushed away as misperceptions. Complaints have been made to supervisors, to the director, to human resources, and to the very top of the organization and on several occasions by several people. Nothing has changed. It is clear that some benefit from their relationships with leadership no matter the quality of their work or their actual contributions. This is demoralizing as it shows that merit is highly subjective. The hiring practices have been suspect with people interviewing for one position but being assigned to something completely different. The reputation in the research community is terrible as we are known to be unresponsive and untimely and a growing sense of mediocrity. What's worse is that the Honolulu office has been around for more than three years and there are many in our local education community who have never heard of the organization or the work that we do. If not for the support system of coworkers who try to remain committed to the work (not the organization), the situation would be intolerable.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    What can be said to management that management hasn't already heard once, twice, three times and more?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Unbelievably low morale

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Denver, CO

    I have been working at McREL full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    There were some very talented people at McREL but they are jumping ship fast!

    Cons

    The upper management really has no idea what is happening in the trenches. I have never experienced such low morale and distrust of senior level management. McREL was once a leader in the industry and now is a joke. I admire the people who have just walked out - even without a new job! ( I wish that I could do so) It is a very sad state for those of us who aspired for years to be at McREL. Now we are trying to figure out how to leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wake up! Don't wait until January to retire - leave now before you lose more people!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Playing Ostrich-ignoring the current "state of the state"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at McREL full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I met some of the most talented, intelligent people ever.

    Cons

    When the opportunity did arise, I was honored to collaborate with people who had the highest expertise and experience of anyone I'd ever known. However, collaboration in this company was a myth. What actually existed was a competitive climate in which everyone fought to keep contracts to themselves (especially one's supervisor who was supposedly tasked with finding work for their supervisees). Although we endured rigorous screening when applying for the position, our skills were immediately hidden and never utilized. I served on the ODAC (Organizational Development) and discovered that input solicited from staff was NEVER shared with them after the fact, especially if there were concerns brought to the attention of leadership. There are probably less than 25% of the staff tasked with earning money for the company while 75% create the exorbitant overhead. Coming to work for McREL was supposed to be my swansong in a lifetime of education, a way to know that I definitely made a difference. Unfortunately, on a bright, sunny day in April 2013, I received an unexpected visit from top management who summarily (and without known cause) laid me off.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop living in the past. Education is changing and so should you, but you insist on hanging on to your past. You are a sinking ship, and people know it and choose to leave rather than go down with the rest of you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8.  

    Thoughts from Former Employee.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at McREL full-time

    Pros

    Very talented people, committed CEO, caring colleagues, strong focus on mission, meaningful work

    Cons

    Management structure that offers more opportunity to a few particular men. Other senior staff are given less authority. Staff are assigned to conduct or pursue new work and often don't bring the right experience to do the work. The HR management style is dated and do not use modern tools for recruiting and don't have interest in improving hiring efficiency. There were also a few long time employees that were drags on the organizational climate that should have been dismissed and probably still haven't when I worked there.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Think about why people leave. Some of them might be good information. For most of us, people liked the organization and the people who worked there. I just didn't see a place to grow.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  9.  

    Professionally fulfilling and personally enjoyable

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at McREL full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Leadership at McREL have a vision for moving the company forward to both grow the company and improve practice in the field. Although a non-profit, leadership and staff at McREL pay attention to both achieving mission and running a sound business. Tough decisions are made and attention is paid to execution. Staff are the best in the education business. Leadership have experience and commitment to the organization and the field. Compensation and benefits are outstanding. McREL is an exciting place to work where effort and expertise truly make a difference inside and outside the organization.

    Cons

    The balance of business with mission is sometimes uneasy and it can be difficult to get everyone on the same page with decisions affecting one or the other.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    McREL is on the right track. The right decisions are being made and the talent at McREL is unbelievable. McREL is small enough to make clear, transparent communication doable and critical.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    McREL Response

    May 6, 2014Chief Human Resources Officer

    Thank you so much for this feedback! McREL International strives to be an innovative, exciting workplace with strong collegial relationships and a mission to make a difference in the lives of ... More

  10.  

    Great in Education, Not Great at Business

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at McREL full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I think McREL's greatest value is the staff. I've never worked with a warmer and friendlier bunch. McREL also attracts some of the brightest minds in education and I believe their products and services are top notch.

    The salary is competitive and the benefits are unmatched, particularly the retirement plan. The space is beautiful and newly updated and every employee gets their own office, no cubes.

    As a non profit, they care more about improving education than improving the bottom line.

    Cons

    Well...as a non profit they care more about education than the bottom line. McREL's achille's heel has been project cost overruns, bloated overheads, and a top heavy organizational structure. These three things undermine the financial stability of the company. I don't believe any of these things are due to lack of effort or malicious intent, I just think that since the majority of the company are educators there is a palpable dearth of business acumen. It truly is a double edged sword. If it were not for the financial instability McREL would get a 5 star review from me as I really enjoyed working there.

    I was in office, so work life balance was fine for me, though admittedly a good portion of the staff are "road warriors" that travel very frequently, as with any consultancy company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Lock down overhead costs and grow horizontally, not vertically.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    McREL Response

    May 6, 2014Chief Human Resources Officer

    We’re happy that we have maintained a reputation for being a workplace of strong collegial relationships and excellent benefits.

    Your comments about overhead costs are well-received, and this is
    ... More

  11.  

    Excellent fellow employees and an opportunity to do something good!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at McREL

    Pros

    The consultants are strongly committed to the mission of the organization. A great amount of research and evaluation is conducted in every area of the organization including the actions in the corporate office. We are given many opportunities to participate in company wide events to share our ideas and have an active part in future direction.

    Cons

    Use the employee "experts" in the areas that are involved in changes. Although morale has been low due to some recent layoffs, direct supervisors need to communicate the events that are occurring because it is apparent that if there is not a clear line of communication, some employees are left to spread untrue rumors that affect the morale of the entire staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There are many employees who trust the decision makers and positive future direction of McREL.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

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